#GameofRoses - NatWest T20 Blast
This Roses NatWest T20 Blast game finished in an extraordinary tie at Emirates Old Trafford tonight, as rain forced play to be halted with the scores level on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method after 8.1 overs of the Yorkshire innings.
The visitors had started their pursuit of Lancashire’s 176-4 with spots of light rain already starting to fall, and attention swiftly turned to the DLS par score as the Vikings innings progressed.
Two good opening overs by Steven Croft and Tom Bailey had restricted the score to just 7-0 before Tom Kohler-Cadmore struck a fierce six to give Yorkshire hope. The batsman then perished two balls later, bowled by Ryan McLaren for 12.
Yorkshire, on 23-1 after 4 overs, needed to reach 39-1 after 5 overs to be ahead on DLS and they did just that with Adam Lyth and David Willey hitting out in effective style to take the visitors 3 runs ahead on 41-1.
Lyth then skied a catch to Arron Lilley off McLaren to make the score 44-2 and put the visitors in arrears on DLS in the 6th over.
It took a six by Willey from the last ball of the 8th over to drag Yorkshire back in front on DLS, by one run, with the Vikings on 83-2.
That became 84-2 when Shaun Marsh took a single from the first ball of the 9th over at which point, with rain getting heavier, the umpires took the players off, with the scores level on DLS.
With rain continuing the game was eventually abandoned as a tie 45 minutes later.
It was a hugely disappointing end to an entertaining game in front of a crowd of 19,641-the biggest ever T20 crowd for a Lancashire match at Emirates Old Trafford.
At the start of the game three boundaries driven through cover by Karl Brown off Willey had seen the Lightning make a rapid start.
Liam Livingstone hit the first six of the night when pulling Tim Bresnan over mid-wicket, this after smashing two fours earlier in the same 4th over which yielded 15 runs.
The early onslaught saw Lancashire reach 59-0 at end of six over powerplay, but Livingstone was stumped by Handscomb off Rashid for 34 off 24 balls two runs later after advancing down the wicket to the spinner.
Jos Buttler hit a six off the sixth ball he received in an innings of 28 off 18 balls which included a variety of the strokes we have come to expect from the England player; a powerful reverse pull for 4 off spinner Azeem Rafiq was followed by two outrageous scoops for 4 off Ben Coad.
Buttler’s innings helped Lancashire reach the halfway point in the excellent shape on 93-1 but Yorkshire’s bowlers battled back well, taking pace off the ball to good effect.
Azeem Rafiq took the crucial wicket of Buttler in the 12th over, to a good diving catch at long-off by Kohler-Cadmore along with that of Dane Vilas who hit a flat drive to Lyth at long-on for 7, in taking 2-26 from his four overs.
The off spinner was matched by Adil Rashid who also bowled tightly to have near identical figures of 1-26 from his four over stint.
The batsman who held it all together for Lancashire was opener Karl Brown who struck 61 from 47 balls included six fours and one six off Rafiq into the stands at long-on, the blow bringing up a rapid 50 partnership off 4.5 overs with Buttler.
It was the third consecutive half-century by Brown in home T20 matches against Yorkshire, only ended in the 19th over when he played on to his stumps attempting a leg side flick off Steve Patterson.
McLaren hit out during the closing overs to finish with a brilliant 34 not out from just 18 balls, including consecutive boundaries off Willey which resulted in 15 runs coming from the 17th over.
It contributed to a score of 176-4 that looked eminently defendable, but the rain deprived the game-and the huge crowd-of the ending it deserved.